I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. My research interests include necrotizing enterocolitis, blood transfusion and caffeine therapy.

Epidemiology of Necrotizing enterocolitis:

The primary focus of my research is to understand the epidemiology of necrotizing enterocolitis. Current studies are investigating US trends in incidence and the role of red cell and platelet transfusions, anemia, probiotics and cytomegalovirus.

Neonatal transfusion:

Working with Dr. Cassandra Josephson, I am studying the role of red cell and platelet transfusion in necrotizing entercolitis and coagulopathy in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Caffeine therapy in preterm infants:

My studies have focused on how to optimze caffeine therapy in preterm infants. My goal is to identify the ideal age at initiation of caffeine to yield the best possible clinical outcomes for preterm infants.

Survival of extremely preterm infants:

In collaboration with investigators in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, I am interested in understanding the incidence and determinants of survival of extremely preterm infants.

Specific studies related to these projects can be found here.


Vivek Saroha, MD, PhD - Vivek is interested in the role of very early caffeine use and neonatal outcomes. He is a currently a PGY-3 neonatal-perinatal fellow.

Rachel Buckle, MS4 - Rachel is interested in understanding how early hemodynamic instability relates to later complications of prematurity, specifically necrotizing enterocolitis. 


Andrea Kane, MD - Resarch focused on the effectiveness of routine probiotic supplementation to prevent NEC. Current position: Assistant Professor, Wayne State University.

Anisha Bhatia, MD - Research focused on whether implementation of delayed cord clamping can decrease the incidence NEC. Current position: Neonatology fellow, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Mitali Pakvasa, MD - Research focused on understanding coagulaopahy in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Current position: Assistant Professor, Emory University.

Tracie Walker, MD - Research focused on early feeding factors influencing exclusive human milk use. Current position, Attending, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.


Cassandra Josephson, MD (mentor for K23 award)

Barbara Stoll, MD

David Carlton, MD

Patricia Denning, MD

Recent publications:

  • Rose AT, Patel RM. A critical analysis of risk factors for necrotizing enterocolitis. Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 [in press]
  • Marin T, Patel RM, Roback JD, Stowell SR, Guo Y, Easley K, Warnock M, Skvarich J, Josephson CD. Does red blood cell irradiation and/or anemia trigger intestinal injury in premature infants with birth weight ≤ 1250 g? An observational birth cohort study. BMC Pediatr. 2018 Aug 11;18(1):270.
  • Keir A, Bamat N, Patel RM, Elkhateeb O, Roland D. Utilising social media to educate and inform healthcare professionals, policy-makers and the broader community in evidence-based healthcare. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2018 Jul 26.
  • Guo Y, Wang Y, Marin T, Kirk E, Patel RM, Josephson CD. Statistical methods for characterizing transfusion-related changes in regional oxygenation using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in preterm infants. Stat Methods Med Res. 2018 Jan 1:962280218786302.
  • Patel RM, Manuck TA. Collaboratively Understanding and Improving Outcomes for the Mother, Fetus, and Infant. Clin Perinatol. 2018 Jun;45(2):xix-xx.
  • Pakvasa MA, Saroha V, Patel RM. Optimizing Caffeine Use and Risk of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Application of GRADE Methodology. Clin Perinatol. 2018 Jun;45(2):273-291.
  • Kane AF, Bhatia D, Denning PW, Shane AL, Patel RM. Routine Supplementation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Very Low Birth Weight Infants. J Pediatr. 2018 Apr;195:73-79.e2
  • Maheshwari A, Patel RM, Christensen RD. Anemia, red blood cell transfusions, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 2018; 27(1):47-51.
  • Patel RM, Underwood MA. Probiotics and necrotizing enterocolitis. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 2018; 27(1):39-46.
  • Bhatt D, Travers C, Patel RM, Shinnick J, Arps K, Keene S, Raval MV. Predicting Mortality or Intestinal Failure in Infants with Surgical Necrotizing Enterocolitis. J Pediatr. 2017 Dec;191:22-27.e3
  • Patel RM, Zimmerman K, Carlton DP, Clark R, Benjamin DK, Smith PB. Early Caffeine Prophylaxis and Risk of Failure of Initial Continuous Positive Airway Pressure in Very Low Birth Weight Infants..J Pediatr. 2017; 190:108-111.e1
  • Patel RM, Rysavy MA, Bell EF, Tyson JE. Survival of Infants Born at Periviable Gestational Ages. Clin Perinatol. 2017 Jun;44(2):287-303. 
  • Younge N, Goldstein RF, Bann CM, Hintz SR, Patel RM, Smith PB, Bell EF, Rysavy MA, Duncan AF, Vohr BR, Das A, Goldberg RN, Higgins RD, Cotten CM; Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Survival and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes among Periviable Infants. N Engl J Med. 2017 Feb 16;376(7):617-628. 
  • Patel RM, Meyer EK, Widness JA. Research Opportunities to Improve Neonatal Red Blood Cell Transfusion. Transfus Med Rev. 2016 Oct;30(4):165-73. 
  • Patel RM, Knezevic A, Shenvi N, Hinkes M, Keene S, Roback JD, Easley KA, Josephson CD. Association of Red Blood Cell Transfusion, Anemia, and Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants. JAMA. 2016 Mar 1;315(9):889-97.
  • Patel RM. Short- and Long-Term Outcomes for Extremely Preterm Infants. Am J Perinatol. 2016 Feb;33(3):318-28. 
  • Patel RM, Kandefer S, Walsh MC, Bell EF, Carlo WA, Laptook AR, Sánchez PJ, Shankaran S, Van Meurs KP, Ball MB, Hale EC, Newman NS, Das A, Higgins RD, Stoll BJ; Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Causes and timing of death in extremely premature infants from 2000 through 2011. N Engl J Med. 2015 Jan 22;372(4):331-40.
  • Dobson NR, Patel RM, Smith PB, Kuehn DR, Clark J, Vyas-Read S, Herring A,Laughon MM, Carlton D, Hunt CE. Trends in caffeine use and association between clinical outcomes and timing of therapy in very low birth weight infants. J Pediatr. 2014 May;164(5):992-998.e3.